Alaska Visitor Information Centers
Most major cities in Alaska, as well as the state and national parks, have good visitors centers— we even have public lands information centers. They are all great resources to contact before you come to Alaska, and certainly while you’re here. They can be a big help with the trip-planning process, giving you free maps and offering suggestions for the best places to check out—and telling you why those places will be so memorable.
Visitor Information Centers
Begin your adventure in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge at the state-of-the-art, eco-friendly (LEED Silver-certified) visitor center in Soldotna that’s a must-visit for travelers. Year-round, the center is a great place to meet with rangers, get maps, plan your activities, and learn about wildlife. You’ll also find regular talks, like bear awareness, for example; guided walks on Refuge trails; and hands-on programs for all ages.
The City of Kenai’s visitor center goes well beyond a person at a counter handing out maps. You’ll find an impressive permanent collection of Native Alaskan and local history artifacts, art exhibits, as well as the largest collection of mounted bald eagles in North America. The gift shop features souvenirs, maps, books, music, and locally produced items. And, indeed, friendly staffers distribute information on local lodging, tours and… ...more
Forty minutes from downtown Anchorage lies Eagle River Nature Center, a gateway to Chugach State Park and a glacial river valley as wild and dramatic as any in Alaska. Enjoy an easy, 3‑mile nature walk on the Albert Loop or trek up-valley 5 miles to see plunging waterfalls and 3,000-foot cliffs. In winter, traverse the trails on cross-country skis or snowshoes.
This is the place to begin for information about Soldotna and the surrounding area — everything from where to stay and eat to the perfect activities for your interests. You can also pick up statewide visitor guides and other publications, and enjoy their boardwalk down to the Kenai River.
Out on the tip of the Kenai Peninsula, at (literally) the end of the road, sits the quirky town of Homer — the ecotourism capital of Alaska. Artists, adventurers, and foodies all come to experience the town’s creative energy, great restaurants, and gorgeous wilderness. And at the entrance to town, just off the Sterling Highway, you’ll find the Homer Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.
Operated by the U.S. Forest Service and open only in summertime, it’s staffed by guides who can help you understand the area. There’s also a stream that runs thick with pink and chum salmon when they return each summer to spawn. Thanks to a footbridge over the stream and the clear Alaskan water, it’s easy to see the fish. (The best viewing is from mid-July through October.) You may also see black bears, who come to feast on the fish.
The Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center in downtown Fairbanks has brochures, maps, free WiFi and telephone, daily lodging availability, and local walking and driving tours. Serving as the regional visitor facility, the friendly and knowledgeable staff have answers to all your questions.
Need a dinner recommendation? Want to know the best place to see whales? Or how about kid-friendly activities in Seward? There’s no better place to have your questions answered and to learn about Seward than the Seward Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center.
Take a deep breath and explore Fairbanks! With the midnight summer sun shining nearly 24 hours a day, Fairbanks is bursting with energy and things to do. Explore Fairbanks is headquartered at the Morris Thompson Cultural and Visitors Center which is also the hub of year-round staffed visitor information and services.
Stuffed bears and musk ox: The Valdez Visitors Center serves up some unexpected exhibits, along with all the information you need to know to have a great experience in town. The knowledgeable locals who staff the center can help answer questions, hand out town maps and visitor guides, and direct you to the wealth of brochures on tour operators and hotels.
A good place to start any tour of Skagway is the former White Pass and Yukon Railroad Depot. This massive, colorful structure, built in 1898, was a dominant part of Skagway life until 1969, when railroad operations moved to the WP&YR’s new building two doors east. The old depot is now the National Park Service Visitor Center, where visitors can enjoy movies, walking tours and other activities during the summer. Although the tracks are now… ...more
Located in downtown Juneau, the Centennial Hall Convention Center, is a great location to hold an event. Concerts, conventions, meetings, and trade shows are regularly held in this convenient location.
Visit the Girdwood Chamber website for information on lodging, activities, restaurants, shops and more. You can also view a map of the town to help plan your stay in Girdwood. The Girdwood Chamber does not have a physical location, visit website or email for information.
Whether or not you’re a World War II scholar, the story of the Aleutian Islands’ role in the second great war is fascinating. The military buildup, the battles, the removal and eventual return of Aleut residents. It’s all detailed at the Aleutian World War II Visitor’s Center, located in an historic Aerology Operations Building that has been renovated to its original 1940s-style façade.
The Islands and Ocean Visitor Center is a comprehensive establishment on the Bypass that houses the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, dedicated to understanding and conserving the marine environment. Their programs include naturalist-guided estuary and birding walks and tide pool explorations just a little ways outside the back door and down to the beach below the Center.
The Skagway Convention and Visitors Bureau provides local information for the historic town and outlying areas. Stop in at the visitor center downtown to get all your questions answered.
Walking down the main street of Kennecott, you can’t miss the National Park Service visitor center on the left, housed in the historic general store and post office.Stop in and learn about the history: The story goes that when the last train left Kennicott in 1938, people had to suddenly abandon their lives with only a few hours of warning. Until the 1970’s you could still come and stock up on beans, flour, and other staples left behind.You’ll… ...more
At any Visit Anchorage information center location, you can find brochures and maps to help you chart your trip around Anchorage and Southcentral Alaska. Pay a visit to the ultimate Anchorage experts who are in the know on the best activities, restaurants, tours and other local hot spots. Log Cabin and Downtown Visitor Information Center Open daily, except major holidays: Mid May to mid September: 8am-7pm Mid Septemeber to mid… ...more
The Unalaska/Port of Dutch Harbor Convention and Visitors Bureau is established to promote and encourage tourism and to support the development and sustainability of tourism infrastructure in the Unalaska/Dutch Harbor Region. They are Monday through Friday 8am to 5pm. Feel free to drop in, call, or email them with any questions about the region. The Unalaska / Port of Dutch Harbor CVB is a great resource; providing maps, visitor guides, ...more
If you want to climb Denali (Mt. McKinley), this is where you have to come to get your permit. Not a climber? Visiting is still a fascinating lesson in mountaineering and Denali’s history — from interpretive programs to a titillating video about climbing that shows throughout the day. The rustic and beautiful building also hosts a permanent collection of photos of the Alaska Range. Photographer, explorer, and scientist Bradford Washburn is… ...more
This large glacial lake was dammed by a terminal moraine located to the north. This area has beautiful views and good hiking opportunities into the Brooks Range. This is a great place to stop for information about this region. There are interpretive panels with information about the formation of the Brooks Range, historic uses of the area and major archaeological discoveries; the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Gates of the Arctic National… ...more
From mid-September to mid-May, the Murie Science Learning Center serves as Denali National Park’s winter visitors’ center. It’s open from 9am to 4pm and provides an array of park exhibits and movies. You can talk with rangers about current trail conditions, borrow a pair of snowshoes, and get backcountry permits for overnight trips. Head out to explore trails from the center or drive a couple miles further up the park road to the Park… ...more
Only 33 miles from the summit of Denali, and at an elevation of 3300’, Eielson offers some of the most spectacular views of Denali (formerly Mt McKinley). There are many activities you can do here, including ranger-guided hikes up to nearby Thorofare Pass and self-guided expiration of the high-alpine tundra environment.
Owned and operated by the National Park Service, this hall often hosts speakers, movies, potlucks, yoga, music, weddings, and other community events. You’ll likely see flyers around town about these events, which are usually held for no charge (though they may request donations). If there is something going on during your visit to town, don’t be shy; it’s worth your while to find out what’s happening. And check in at the NPS visitor center to see ...more
Built in 1959 as the National Guard Armory, the building was taken off-line in 2004. It was empty for years, until the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly handed it off to the Juneau Arts & Humanities Council to manage as the Juneau Arts & Culture Center. Today it provides space for artists to work and show their creations.
Tetlin is one of only two refuges in Alaska that are road accessible. It harbors a varied landscape, from rugged snowcapped peaks and glacially fed rivers to tundra, forest, and wetlands. The Refuge was established to conserve waterfowl, raptors and other migratory birds, furbearers, moose, and caribou — which lie in abundance within its borders. The visitor center is about 1.5 hours from Tok.
Driving into McCarthy you’ll see a sign for the NPS kiosk on the left. This is a great place to get oriented to the McCarthy and Kennicott area as well as make the most of your visit here. The information kiosk is open daily during the summer and has friendly park rangers and volunteers to answer questions about the McCarthy and Kennicott area as well as give you information about parking and shuttle service. This is a also good place to use… ...more
Housed in a one-room log cabin, this museum and visitor center packs a lot into its small space. Learn about Ahtna Athabascan natives, explore mining and trapping history, and check out the history of the fascinating Colony project — a New Deal program that brought 204 farm families to Alaska. You can also pick up tour books and maps, or ask the knowledgeable staff about area attractions. The museum’s permanent collection spans the development… ...more
Built in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Wonder Lake historic ranger station was built to serve as quarters at the west end of the road. Today it primarilly serves visitors. The Park staff use additional structures for summer housing. The compact site has individual ranger bunkhouses, a headquarters building, a shop, a pump shed, and a few other miscellaneous small structures. Eight Park rangers are on site from mid-May to… ...more
The Alaska Avalanche Information Center works to increase public awareness and safety through avalanche education, and the networking of avalanche professionals. It is entirely run by volunteers who are passionate about the outdoors.
Why go The Forest Service’s Begich, Boggs Visitor Center is located in Portage Valley, one of Alaska’s most visited recreation areas. The valley is a showcase of glacial activity with a number of “hanging” glaciers gracing the encircling mountains. The visitor center is located on the northwestern shore of Portage Lake, and was built on the terminal moraine left behind by Portage Glacier almost a century ago. The Trail of Blue Ice, Byron… ...more
This is a popular attraction with wildlife exhibits, free wildlife films, and rangers available to answer about recreation and camping in the refuge. Take a short walk down the nature trail to a viewing platform. Use the spotting scope to look for wildlife on Headquarters Lake.
The Denali National Park Visitors Center is actually more of a campus. The center itself is the main National Park Service welcome and information center and it is surrounded by other facilities that include a restaurant, bookstore/giftshop, bag check, bus stop and the Alaska Railroad depot.
This log cabin with a pitched roof and panoramic windows sits on a bluff beside the highway and is easy to miss. But be sure to stop in for advice on your visit to the Mat-Su. There’s an informational video running inside, plus a bevy of volunteers who have at least 60 years combined experience in the area. Where should I eat dinner? What tour should I take for wildlife viewing? Where’s the best campground? They helpful locals here will help… ...more
Some 80 percent of Alaskan land is public space. And no one has more information on it all than the Alaska Public Lands Information Center. Stop by for trip-planning information, interactive displays, and movies on Alaska’s wildlife, cultures, and destinations. Whether you like to hike, camp, hunt, fish, view wildlife, or take scenic drives, the center can point you in the right direction. You’ll also find a variety of educational programs,… ...more
It’s rare when a National Wildlife Refuge has an amazing visitor center, but this one is a must-see. Kids and adults will love the displays, including the complete skeleton of a grey whale. You can learn about the grey whale migration from Baja to the Bering Sea, the food they eat, their evolutionary developments, and the seven-year process of discovering and transporting the skeleton to the museum. The center also coordinates educational… ...more
Traveling to Nome? Make the Nome Visitors Center your first stop. Pick up some brochures, see a short video on Nome, say “Hi” to “Oscar” the stuffed musk ox, and talk to staff about things to do in and around town. Open daily: 8 am — 5 pm in winter, 8 am — 7 pm in summer.
At Milepost 75 Taylor Highway you can pull off and read the interpretive panels to learn more about the Fortymile gold rush.
The Downtown Association of Fairbanks has knowledgeable, local staff that are working hard to encourage and foster economic growth that will result in a downtown that is a vital, energetic and an attractive center of the community. Their primary focus is to promote, preserve and revitalize Downtown Fairbanks. Among other projects, they are working on a comprehensive, achievable community plan for the revitalization and future growth of… ...more
Take a step back into Seldovia’s past while learning about the present at the Seldovia Museum & Visitor Center. Check out detailed exhibits on the cultural traditions and legacies of the Native peoples of the area, see interactive wildlife exhibits and pick up free travel information and maps.
This information center is a partnership between the BLM, the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Park Service. The Center is open daily from noon to 10 p.m. late May — early September. Here you will find information and interpretive displays about the regions history, natural environment and recreation opportunities in the area. There’s also an Alaska Geographic Association bookstore.
You’ll find friendly, local staff who are ready to answer questions and help you with your trip, and it’s open year round. In a hurry? At least stop in to pick up a free travel guide or brochure.
In a national park with some 13 million acres, deciding on a spot for the visitor center can’t be easy. But the National Park Service found a great location in Copper Center, where you can get information on hiking trails, backcountry expeditions, flightseeing, and guiding companies, along with books, brochures, and a relief model of the park’s mountain ranges
Take a walk outside the Nature Center on the Mount Roberts Alpine Loop Trail.
Hidden in the trees, this little log cabin visitor’s center can be easy to miss! However, make sure to stop by and learn about all the activities and sights to see in the surrounding area.
Stop here for more information about the park and local area, exhibits, and ranger-led activities, as well as an Alaska Geographic bookstore. Always check on current Nabesna Road and trail conditions before beginning your journey. Recreational off-road vehicles (ORVs) are typically allowed on established trails. However, trails can be temporarily closed to ORVs due to maintenance and improvements. ORV permits are required and available at… ...more